Former Michigan state representative Waters joins race for Congress

Jan 24, 2012

The race for Michigan's 14th Congressional District just got more crowded. The Detroit Free Press reports today that former state Rep. Mary Waters has thrown her hat in the ring, competing for a congressional seat representing the western half of Detroit.

Waters, a Democrat from Detroit, will be facing U.S. Reps. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Township), Hansen Clarke (D-Detroit), and Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence for her party's nomination, the Free Press reports.

While Waters nearly won a congressional seat back in 2008, the Free Press writes, her recent record is a bit more rocky:

Waters’ fortunes faded when she pleaded guilty in 2010 to a misdemeanor count of filing a false tax return related to a bribery scandal involving her one-time boyfriend Sam Riddle. She tried to withdraw her plea, but the U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed the plea last year and Waters was sentenced to one year of probation.

Michigan Radio's Rick Pluta reported last year on a related story involving Waters and Sam Riddle:

Ex-state Representative Mary Waters returned home to the apartment she shared with Sam Riddle and found him in bed with another woman.

The couple fought, she left and called 9-1-1 after he pointed shotgun at her.

Waters later tried to recant her accusation, but the prosecutor went ahead with the trial and Riddle was convicted.

Riddle challenged the convictions on several grounds – including Waters’ statement that she never actually feared being hurt.

The appeals court said that’s not relevant –what matters is whether a rational person might reasonably have feared the situation.

Riddle is currently in a federal prison serving a simultaneous sentence on bribery and extortion convictions.

In a Facebook post about her campaign, Waters maintained a positive, assertive tone:

Hard times call for a dedicated, ambitious, and devoted Humanitarian. I understand the tough times we face, perseverance has become a way of life for me. The same dedication that led me from Alabama’s cotton-fields to a University of Michigan Bachelors degree will be used to improve our neighborhoods and quality of life.

I am ready to serve our community. I am ready to work for our seniors, to fight for safer neighborhoods, to assist single-mother households and address the concerns of Detroit citizens.

Waters and her opponents will face off in a primary election in August, the Free Press reports.

-John Klein Wilson, Michigan Radio Newsroom